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14 Examples Of Travel Adventure That Caught Tourists Completely Off Guard

Travel is always an adventure, but some trips bring more adventure than you expect. On a recent Reddit thread, people shared their biggest unexpected travel adventures, and we curated 14 of the best!

“My wife and I took the overnight train from St. Petersburg to Moscow in 2010. We had to share our sleeper room with a Russian guy who spoke no English and looked like a mobster. He acknowledged us, sat down and said something in Russian. As soon as he realized we weren’t Russian and were visiting his country, he ordered a bottle of brandy and three glasses from the stewardess. We sat drinking it and communicated using anything but the spoken language for about three hours. When the brandy had dried up and bedtime was upon us, he took off his trousers to reveal a black pair of tight underpants which had a tiger’s face on the crotch. He climbed to the top bunk and fell asleep. Absolute legend of a guy.” (Toaster_Boaster )

“I was hiking in the rainforest on the Brazilian/Argentinian border near Iguazu Falls with one of my best friends. It was a stunning landscape and we were having a great time until I heard a shriek come from behind me. My friend had wanted to take a picture of something slightly off the path and walked directly into a spider web. This wasn’t just any spiderweb, it was about 6 feet tall and spanned between two large trees across a 4-foot distance. Her entire body was coated in web. We all laughed at her and cleaned her off…and luckily never saw the spider that went with it.” (laurahrahrah)

“I was leaving Amsterdam after a four-day smoke binge. My train to Berlin was leaving in an hour, so I thought I’d have one final smoke before leaving. The coffee shop had a ‘special’ – 7 guilders for a coffee and ‘space cake’. I had one, felt a slight buzz and decided to have another. The waitress asked if I was sure, but I insisted. I walked back to the train station and was walking to my train when the second cake kicked in. It was like getting hit in the back of the head with a mallet.
I successfully managed to get on my train and then passed out. I have vague recollections of showing my Eurail pass and passport. I woke up 12 hours later with a conductor violently shaking me, stumbled out of the Berlin train station and went directly to the first hotel I saw and passed out in my room for another 12 hrs. When I woke up, I decided to check out Berlin, but noticed all these Swiss flags everywhere. I asked the man at the front desk “Excuse me sir, but am I in Berlin?” He gave me a blank stare and said: “No, you are in Basil, Switzerland.” Never did make it to Berlin, but Switzerland was nice.” (deleted)

“I was backpacking around Europe with my girlfriend and we were on the train from Krakow, Poland. Just as the train set off, we realized it was the wrong one and that we had to get off. Ended up with us opening the door (it was an old train with a manual handle, no electronics) and jumping out onto the platform as it was traveling at a fast run, grabbing her bag and making sure she got off before the train sped up. Turns out it does make you feel a little like Indiana Jones.” (Captain_Comedown)

“Six friends and I were on a backpacking trip around Europe after graduating. While we were stopped in Munich, we decided that we needed to see a brewery. The Spaten brewery happened to be the closest to our hostel so we just walked on over. An older gentleman answered our knock on the door, and we asked him about going on a tour. He didn’t quite understand what we were asking and thought that we had scheduled a tour that he wasn’t prepared for. He apologized profusely and brought all six of us up to the private top floor of the brewery (not quite a skyscraper, but a really tall building near downtown). Turns out they had moved an old bierhaus to the top floor, it had a full bar, hot pretzels, and amazing views of the city. Up there we met a guy who spoke English and we figured out what had happened and that it was a big misunderstanding. Instead of telling us we needed to leave, he poured us all a beer, gave us food, and told us to stay as long as we liked. It was completely random and so amazing how nice people can be sometimes. Spaten gained 6 lifelong customers that day.” (Tdc10731)

“I was on a train in Paris about this time last year, me and my friend were on our way to meet some people down at the Moulin Rouge. I was eating a cup of noodles with a fork I’d liberated from the hostel. This lovely gent stands up to leave the train, sort of half bows with his head down and hands together and ever-so_gently takes my noodles from me. Says ‘Merci’ a couple of times and departs the train.
I wasn’t even mad, it was beautiful.” (alldaysharkboy)

Giphy

“At a hostel in Amsterdam, we stayed in a room for eight. We ended up chummy with the other two couples in there and had fun sharing stories for a while one night. As we were chatting and getting ready for bed, a guy came in to take one of the other beds remaining, sat down, and pulled out a giant sword.
He just sat down on the cot, took it out, laid it on his lap, and sat there silently. We also went silent for a second because we didn’t know if he was serious. We tried to say hi and be friendly. He ignored us, and just sat there with his sword.
We were all tired but we were sort of eyeing each other like we didn’t want to sleep. The guy just put his sword beside him on the bed and went to sleep.
Next morning, we asked the desk about their sword policy. They allow them.” (Vedmedyk)

“I was hiking with some friends in New Mexico on a scout camping trip. Most of the people left on a day hike to sightsee, but I was somewhat tired and getting elevation sickness. After they left I took a nap, but before they got back in time I was alone at the site. There were 5-10 chipmunks running around our campsite. I built a small fort where I could sit on top of a ledge. I dropped a bear bag below and put some nuts in it. Within a few minutes, I had caught myself a chipmunk in a bear bag.” (deleted)

“Was backpacking in Australia with a friend, and he drank a bit too much. P*ssed himself on the top bunk while two people underneath were having sex. Apparently, it was coming down like a waterfall. An angry Irishman woke him up to tell him and he just casually said “You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube” then went back to sleep in his own p*ss.” (TallBastaard)

“I spent the summer before starting college backpacking in the intermountain west of the United States. I was about four days of hiking away from my car and hadn’t seen a soul. On the fifth morning, I decided to take a picture of the sunrise coming up over the mountains. When I attempted to take the shot, I was informed by my camera that I had a full memory card. I remembered checking my camera the night before to see how much memory space I had left. Approximately 60 photos. Baffled, I hit the replay button on my camera. As I flipped through photograph after photograph I felt my stomach sinking. They were all of me snuggled up in my sleeping bag. Someone had taken photographs of me sleeping from my tent door. To reach my camera, they would have had to step inside my tent, reach over me, open the right pocket of my pack, and retrieve the camera. All without waking me up. I don’t camp alone anymore.” (silent_eunoia)

“Some friends and I were backpacking in Sicily and met an old man in a train station. We were taking the train from Taormina to Palermo, and we sat with the old Sicilian while we waited. We talked about Sicily, America, whatever; he was a very serious man who barely cracked a smile. After an hour or so, he got up to leave. He asked us where we were going, and when we said Palermo, he took out a piece of paper and wrote a note in Italian. He told us to take it to a restaurant called the Osteria, and give the letter to the owner. He said his name was Pietro Pugliesi, and that the owners of the restaurant would “take care of us”. He then looked at us, put his thumb to his eye, and took off.
When we got to Palermo, we headed to the restaurant. It was packed, but we went in anyway. We asked to see the owner, and after much confusion and anger from the Sicilians (they thought we were just dumb Americans) the owner came out. We told him that Pietro Pugliesi had sent us. As soon as we said his name, the owner said, “This cannot be. This man is dead!” The waiter next to him crossed himself. We quickly grabbed the letter and gave it to the owner. After reading it several times, in shock, and showing it to some others, he looked at us and said to follow him. He took us to a large table in the center of the restaurant, the only available table.
Within thirty seconds plates of all kinds of Sicilian food were rushing out to our table, along with several bottles of wine and beer. The waiters kept coming and asking if everything was okay, what else they could bring, etc. The owner also made it a point to continually check up on us. It was incredible. At the end of the delicious meal, the owner came out with the bill. Since we were poor college students we were worried. It ended up costing about 275 euros, but he looked at us and said “Friends of Pietro?” and then he ripped up the check. We still believe to this day that we delivered a message for the mafia of the whereabouts and status of one Pietro Pugliesi.” (seattlecool)

“I was hitchhiking in far Northwest Australia, and I got a lift from a guy in a semi. A few hours in, he says he’s pretty tired and asks me if I want to drive. I was a teenager, didn’t even have a car license. I said no, but a little while later I noticed him nodding off at 130kmh carrying 37 tonnes. So I said ok, I’ll give it a go. He showed me how to work the gearbox, waited till I got up to speed then clambered back into the sleeper for the next four hours. It was awesome.” (deleted)

“Recently, my friend and I went on a trip to Spain. To save money, we shared a single room at our Madrid hotel. The room had a double bed that was actually 2 beds put together. Of course, we always moved our beds apart before going to sleep. However, every single morning, the hotel maid unfailingly pushed the beds back together. Not only that but she also never forgot to put a rose on one of them; on my bed, to be precise. Whatever gave her that idea?” (berd2003)

I went to Egypt and got caught up in the Arab Spring.” (ponte92)

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